Should I choose an accident management company or my insurer?

It’s a common question, and one which every motorist faces after an accident. The right answer depends on the circumstances, and the level of service you expect.

The first question you need to ask is whether the accident was your fault…

In the event of an at-fault accident, your insurer will be best placed to handle proceedings on your behalf. That’s what you’ve paid your premiums for, year in, year out, and it’s only right that your insurer should earn that money by delivering the service you’ve stumped up for.

But the waters become muddier in the case of a non-fault accident…

The first thing to say is that you still have a contractual obligation to inform your insurer of the accident. But that doesn’t mean that you need to hand over control of the process – and in fact, there are a number of good reasons why this is a bad idea.

For immediate Roadside Assistance call our 24/7 Claims Line 0300 303 3833

Why Not Go Through an Insurance Company?

It seems reasonable to expect that our insurer would act in our best interests following a non-fault accident. Unfortunately, what’s reasonable, and what’s profitable, can be two different things, and insurers are famous for keeping a sharp eye on their bottom line!

Here’s how the process usually works out when a non-fault accident is managed by the insurer:

 

Your Insurer’s View

Your insurer’s view of a non-fault accident is likely to be very different to your own. You essentially pay your insurer to take on financial liability following an at-fault accident – that’s their number-one role. This creates a situation where many car insurers view handling non-fault accidents as a costly and time-consuming inconvenience…

The reality is that most insurers are only focused on meeting their minimum contractual obligations when dealing with non-fault parties!

First Contact

Many insurance companies are fast to answer the phone when you want to buy a policy, but incredibly slow to answer when you need support!

While reporting the accident is mandatory, having your insurer manage your accident is optional – so, unless you happen to be a fan of listening to endless loops of elevator music while on hold, minimizing contact with your insurer is the best way to go. To do this, simply inform your insurer that you’ll be handling things through an accident management company, and don’t require their assistance.

Your Excess

Unfortunately, your insurance company will expect you to pay your excess following a non-fault accident. They will typically offer you some (limited) help in trying to reclaim this from the at-fault party, but the process can often take as much as six months.

Many drivers choose a larger excess as a way to reduce the costs of their premiums, but, whether your own excess is large or small, you need to be confident that you’re dealing with a company that will aggressively pursue the at-fault party’s insurer to get your money back asap. Can you really say that about your insurer?

Your No-Claims Bonus

Incredible as it sounds, many insurers will remove your no-claims bonus – even if the accident you were involved in wasn’t your fault! This happens as standard if there’s a dispute over blame, but, while some insurers will reinstate your discount once your innocence is established, others will still view you as being at greater risk of having another accident in the future!

Vehicle Repairs

If your vehicle’s been damaged in a road-traffic accident, then one of your priorities will be to have it repaired to the highest possible standard. Unfortunately, your insurer will be more concerned to have the repair performed cheaply, in order to minimize the risk of the at-fault party’s insurer contesting the costs.

This results in a situation where your vehicle will be looked at by a damage assessor who’ll often budget the lowest possible amount for the work, before it’s taken off to a bodyshop who’ll perform a ‘that’ll do’ type of repair!

Fact: As the vehicle’s owner, it’s your legal right to demand an independent assessment, and to have the repair work carried out at a garage of your choice.

Lack of Control

It’s common for many different people to become involved following a non-fault accident. As the affected motorist, it would make sense if you had control over which professionals were representing your interests, pursuing your claim and fixing your vehicle, but your insurer will prefer take the control away from you, and hand your case, claim or repair over to people of their own choosing.

Poor Personal Injury Support

If you were unlucky enough to suffer a personal injury as part of your non-fault accident then you deserve compensation. Unfortunately, insurers often farm this kind of work out to obscure solicitors, whose main focus is on closing cases as fast as possible in order to secure their fees. They will typically do this by attempting to settle your case for the lowest possible amount, to avoid conflict with the at-fault party’s own legal team.

Replacement Vehicles

It would be nice to imagine that your insurer would see you right following a non-fault accident, by supplying you with a like-for-like replacement vehicle. Unfortunately, the insurance companies simply aren’t willing to invest in providing like-for-like replacements for prestige marques, taxis, commercial vehicles, dual-control vehicles – or anything else remotely ‘non-standard’. The reality is that you’re more likely to receive a Ford Ka, Nissan Micra or – if you’re really lucky – a Vauxhall Corsa!

 

Accident Management Companies – The Alternative to Insurers!

Many at-fault parties are focused on twisting the facts to avoid appearing liable for the blame following an accident. As the innocent party you need professionals on your side who will doggedly pursue your best interests – and the simple truth is that you can’t expect that level of support from your insurer. In fact, many simply view managing an accident as an administrative headache that eats into their bottom line!

Luckily, insurers and accident management companies are very different. Here at Road to Recovery our whole service is built around representing innocent non-fault parties who are affected as a result of other drivers’ mistakes. To do that, we bring together a dedicated team of professionals in multiple sectors – ranging from legal experts, right through to independent damage assessors, and high-quality bodyshops. What’s more, when you become our client, everyone who works for us ultimately works for you

That’s the kind of support you need after an accident!

Learn more about the difference you’ll see when you choose us as your accident management company.

For immediate Roadside Assistance call our 24/7 Claims Line 0300 303 3833